Ex-nurse covers hands in 'blood' during march in rejection of NHS pay rise offer

·5-min read
Ex-nurse covers hands in 'blood' during march in rejection of NHS pay rise offer
Ex-nurse covers hands in 'blood' during march in rejection of NHS pay rise offer

An ex-nurse covered her hands in 'blood' during a march in rejection of a 5% pay rise offer for NHS staff.

Brenda Eadie is demanding the Scottish Government act and increase pay for medics in Scotland.

The 45-year-old claimed shortages are forcing just one nurse to look after wards of 30 patients which is 'risking unnecessary deaths'.

Glasgow Times: Brenda put fake blood on her hands
Glasgow Times: Brenda put fake blood on her hands

Brenda put fake blood on her hands

It comes as NHS staff and supporters marched from Glasgow Green to George Square on Tuesday to protest their 5% pay rise offer.

The crowd sang “you can shove your 5% up your kilt” as they walked through the city centre waving flags and banners.

The deal, which would apply to nurses, paramedics, allied health professionals and healthcare support staff, is the largest pay rise ever to be offered to NHS workers since devolution.

But protesters claim the money would come as a pay cut to them with the cost of living soaring.

Glasgow Times: Police were on the scene
Glasgow Times: Police were on the scene

Police were on the scene

Brenda joined the NHS in 1993 but has been forced to retire this year after developing a brain injury from a functional neurological disorder.

She told the Glasgow Times: “I’m putting blood on my hands because lately there's only one nurse covering wards of 30 patients."

She stated that "things are being missed" which could lead to 'unnecessary deaths', adding: "This is something that our employers, the Scottish Government, need to fix.

“Most NHS workers are having to work 60-hour shifts to cover shortages.

“Nurses don’t have a minute to themselves or their families. They are more than on their knees, they are face forward in the mud now.”

Glasgow Times: Protesters brought signs to the march
Glasgow Times: Protesters brought signs to the march

Protesters brought signs to the march

Union leaders have insisted a record-breaking 5% pay rise that is being offered to more than 160,000 NHS workers across is not good enough.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said the proposed wage hike - which could amount to £2400 a year for some frontline employees - was a "demonstration of how much we value our NHS staff who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe during the course of the pandemic".

One nurse at the march, Melanie Gale, told the Glasgow Times how medics feel the pay rise is unfair and why they expect to see more.

Glasgow Times: Protesters waved flags and banners
Glasgow Times: Protesters waved flags and banners

Protesters waved flags and banners

The 47-year-old said: "The reason we’re here today is to reject the 5%.

“We feel that what the government has offered us is a pay cut. It’s 20% less than what we deserve to get.

“As an NHS worker, it’s hard going.

"If someone is a band two or three, they’ve got to work a considerable amount of hours to make their money at the end of the month, and with the rise in inflation, everything’s going up, but our wages are not.

“[The Scottish Government] are saying that most people will get £1000-2000 added on to their pay, but is that really a pay increase?

"No, it’s not, because, by the time you take all your money off for food, fuel, gas, and electricity, it’s not even going to make ends meet.”

Glasgow Times: Supporters brought children to join the march
Glasgow Times: Supporters brought children to join the march

Supporters brought children to join the march

Other protesters spoke out about how nursing is failing to attract new people due to them being overworked and underpaid.

Nurse Steve Revie, 57, explained: “I’m here today because the nurses have not been paid well for the last 10 years, alongside all the other health care workers.

“We need to lift the voice and make the government see that they need to start investing in their health service and staff.

“Nursing is not attracting people into the profession anymore because they feel undervalued.

"This means that nurses are overworked, over-stretched and underpaid, and all these things are contributing to poor services for our patients.

"We’re out here because of our patients.

“I’ve never seen morale so low in the health service as it is today, and to fix this we need to fix the NHS salary and we need investment.”

Glasgow Times: Nurse Melanie Gale felt 5% was unfair
Glasgow Times: Nurse Melanie Gale felt 5% was unfair

Nurse Melanie Gale felt 5% was unfair

Gordon Martin, 51, from the RMT union said: “The NHS is essential for everyone, and it’s being systematically decimated by the Tories and the Scottish Government.

“RMT are here today as we understand and know what it is to have solidarity with others and to express solidarity back.

"Some of these guys have been in our picket lines in recent months, so it’s important that we’re here to support them today.

“We need to fight to maintain what we’ve got today.”

Nathan Graham, 40, a truck drive and member of Unite, added: “I want to support my colleagues and comrades in the NHS.

“The NHS are the jewel and crown, and we can’t afford to lose them. I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for the NHS. I owe my life to the NHS.

“So, I’m absolutely willing to come out and march and do what I can to support them. We’re all part of the same working class, we need to stand up for each other and the NHS.

“The NHS are worth a thousand times what they’re paid, and they deserve so much more than what they get.”

Glasgow Times: Protesters brought flags
Glasgow Times: Protesters brought flags

Protesters brought flags

A Scottish Government spokesperson said:

“Pay in NHS Scotland is negotiated separately.  Following our offer of a record 5% raise for NHS Scotland Agenda for Change (AfC) staff, including nurses, we await the outcome of ballots in Scotland.

“We are continuing to prioritise investment in our health and care services.  "This is demonstrated by over £73 billion in our recently published Resource Spending Review that is allocated towards supporting recovery and securing sustainable frontline services.”